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Swapnil Talegaonkar
Technology consultant at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to set up, helpful support, but the stability needs to be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "The Check Point Management server is isolated from security gateways, which means that in case there is an issue, we have our configuration ready and we can directly replace the device and push the configuration."
  • "For those not familiar with the Command Line interface, there should be an option in the GUI for operating backups."

What is our primary use case?

We have a Check Point firewall to secure our perimeter as well as on the internal network. We also have our Security Management server on VM. Both perimeter & internal sets are managed via the same Security Management system.

Two separate packages are created for both perimeter & internal sets.

We are also managing a SandBlast device via Security Management.

Even though all of the work is performed by the gateway, Security Management plays a vital role in a three-tier architecture. Here, our primary use case is to push security policies & manage logs.

How has it helped my organization?

Check Point Security Management is one-stop for all operation-related activity on the Check Point Security Gateway (firewalls).

We have completed one-time implementation configurations, like clustering, using this tool.

Check Point has a very sophisticated log monitor, where troubleshooting is very simple. We just have to put the desired filter, and Check Point generates the reports that help us to understand the overall picture in our network.

We have created multiple users, and they each have a smart dashboard install on their machine.

What is most valuable?

The Check Point Management server is isolated from security gateways, which means that in case there is an issue, we have our configuration ready and we can directly replace the device and push the configuration. Logs are collected at the management server, hence we can preserve those as well. 

We can keep on adding new devices that can all be managed from a single security management server.

After the upgrade to R80, we have a single interface for all activities. Previously, we needed to configure using different applications.   

What needs improvement?

It is very difficult to recover policies from the gateway in case if you lose your security management server, and don't have a backup.

The backup functionality (Migrate export command), which covers policies, can not be operated from the GUI. Instead, we have to log into the CLI and generate a file then take it out. For those not familiar with the Command Line interface, there should be an option in the GUI for operating backups. There should also be an option to automatically schedule the backup. 

The smart dashboard is a very heavy application. If we could directly connect & manage firewalls from the Management server itself then it would make it very easy.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Check Point Security Management for more than three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability needs to be improved.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability-wise, it is very good, as it was deployed on VM.

How are customer service and technical support?

TAC is very supportive but we face many issues with this product.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we had only firewalls & not a management device. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not very complex & can be done easily.

What about the implementation team?

We are the ones who implemented it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This product can be used for 25 security gateways on a basic license. I think that this is good value for the money.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We wanted to implement Check Point and hence, we did not evaluate others.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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SA
Network Administrator at Nigerian Security Printing & Minting Plc
Real User
Top 5
Good interface, excellent technical support, and very helpful additional features

Pros and Cons

  • "The additional features offered by the solution are excellent. We didn't have a lot fo these on a previous solution, and they've proven to be an advantage for us."
  • "The reporting should be improved in future releases. It needs to be very explicit. This is very important."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution based on the results that are provided. We've tried others previously and they didn't give us the results we receive on this particular product.

What is most valuable?

The additional features offered by the solution are excellent. We didn't have a lot of these on a previous solution, and they've proven to be an advantage for us.

Based on my personal use of the system, the interface is quite good.

What needs improvement?

It depends on the user, but all of the checkpoints need improvement. The only place I need a bit of an update, for example, is in the endpoint management. There are some policies that are embedded that you have to examine if you have sensitive users. 

For some applications, the default acts as a manager. However, in a system with a history of being breached or where users are given access based on their job function, we seem to have issues particularly there.

The reporting should be improved in future releases. It needs to be very explicit. This is very important.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Over the past nine or ten months that we've been using the solution we've found it to be very stable. We haven't had any issues at all. Since we have a monetary drive to enforce stability, when we see a flagged issue we will address it immediately.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of the solution is excellent. We haven't faced any negative aspects when trying to scale up.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support of the solution has been very good. They are much better than what I previously had. I find that we get attention within 24 hours if we flag something. We are purchasing the support so it may be the reason we get such a quick and helpful response.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did previously use a different solution. They didn't have support locally in my country and this was difficult for us. Everything was done via mail or phone and it was not helpful. With this solution, if the situation cannot be remotely addressed within 48 hours, they will come to my office in person and attend to me. It's much better.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. Deployment takes about three working days. In our case, we had to import policies from SonicWall but not on the same platform, so we had some little challenges like that, however, overall it was quite straightforward.

We have an in-house team that handles maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We had an integrator that assisted us with the implementation of the product. We use them for support as well.

What other advice do I have?

We're still in the testing phase in terms of using the solution. Soon, it will be one year since we have fully deployed it. So far, it's been very good. I would rate it eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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DN
Customer Executive IT at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Great for securing our network perimeter with good scalability and stability on offer

Pros and Cons

  • "Mobile access has helped us cater to more than 4000 users so that they can work from home."
  • "It would be helpful if we could enable URL and application traffic control remote access."

What is our primary use case?

We use Check Point Security Gateway GAIA R 80.40 as our secure gateway firewall. We have configured two gateways as active-passive in cluster mode. We also use R 80.40 as our security management server to configure the policies on the firewall. We use it primarily to control traffic and secure our network perimeter against unknown attacks. The different rules and policies for the SSL VPN connections are configured on the mobile access blade. We use the policies to segregate and filter the traffic flow. 

How has it helped my organization?

Check Point Security Management GAIA R 80.40 tremendously helped us in securing our network perimeter against various threats. 

We have used the access rules and application/URL filtering blades to filter and restrict unwanted traffic. 

The IPS blade, Antivirus blade, Anti-bot blade, Threat Emulation blade, and Threat Prevention blades are helping us tremendously in preventing attacks and thus take care of the threats at the gateways themselves. 

At the time of COVID, the Mobile Access blade has helped greatly in the smooth running of production.

What is most valuable?

We have found all the security blades very helpful. The IPS blade, Antivirus blade, Anti-bot blade, Threat Emulation blade, and Threat Prevention blades have been most useful in securing the network. 

With the antivirus, IPS, and Anti-bot blades signatures being automatically updated regularly on a daily/hourly basis, the network is always safe. 

The URL and Application Filter blade offers a daily update of the database which helps us control the traffic. 

Mobile access has helped us cater to more than 4000 users so that they can work from home.

What needs improvement?

The Security Management server could be improved. If it provided an inbuilt authenticator for multifactor authentication, that would be ideal. Currently, we have to depend on a third party for multifactor authentication. 

It would help us greatly in securing the remote access users if Mac binding can be done for remote access VPN users in mobile. It would be helpful if we could enable URL and application traffic control remote access. 

The logging and reporting are good, but it would be helpful if more report templates were available.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Check Point Security Gateway for more than 7 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is great.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is good.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The company has been using Check Point for a long time. It's been more than 10 years. I have been with the company for past 7 Years.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We had assistance from our Vendor Team (ISecurenet). They are very good.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI has been above expectations.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price is high but worth it.

What other advice do I have?

Check Point is one of the top leaders in security solutions.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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CA
User at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good access control, security control, and threat prevention, but needs better support and a workflow for user authorization

Pros and Cons

  • "It is good when it comes to access control, which is the basic feature that we use in a firewall appliance or solution. Check Point is effective when it comes to security control and threat prevention."
  • "Support is the main area that they need to improve. Our support experience is not very smooth. We are based in Africa, and we don't know whether it is because of our region. I would like a feature where there is a workflow to provide authorization to some users before they're able to create and apply rules. Such a feature should be integrated with the management. It should not be in the box that comes with it."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for both perimeter and internal defense.

What is most valuable?

It is good when it comes to access control, which is the basic feature that we use in a firewall appliance or solution. Check Point is effective when it comes to security control and threat prevention.

What needs improvement?

Support is the main area that they need to improve. Our support experience is not very smooth. We are based in Africa, and we don't know whether it is because of our region.

I would like a feature where there is a workflow to provide authorization to some users before they're able to create and apply rules. Such a feature should be integrated with the management. It should not be in the box that comes with it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working on the protection network since 2014. It has been around seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

So far, it has been stable, but stability also depends on your design and deployment. You might have a performance issue, especially when you have to deal with a lot of traffic. You also need to factor in maintenance in terms of the upgrades, patches, and hotfixes that you need to do regularly. When you're able to do that and take care of the maintenance, you'll have stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability depends on your design. You have to properly scope your environment to know the amount of traffic that is expected to go through, pass, or transmit through the firewall. After you have a proper scope, you won't have any problems. Otherwise, you'll definitely be experiencing issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Our support experience is not very smooth. We are based in Africa, and we don't know whether it is because of our region.

How was the initial setup?

As compared to other security and firewall solutions, its deployment is not that easy. The deployment duration depends on your project plan. It also depends on whether you are working just on the deployment, and there are no distractions.

What about the implementation team?

In terms of those who manage the rules and administer the system, we have about ten people. They are administrators, and they create rules, manage the system, and provide support.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I wasn't a part of the team that did the evaluation.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to properly apply good design concepts by engaging professionals. They should properly scope their environment to ensure that they are deploying the solution to optimized standards. They should also ensure that they train their personnel to be able to handle the first level and even second level support when it comes to the management of Check Point.

I would rate Check Point Security Management a seven out of ten considering the skills that are required and the ease of use and management.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Kirtikumar Patel
Network Engineer at LTTS
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Ability to configure multiple gateways in a single screen, and ID-mapped access makes maintenance easy

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature for me is Identity Awareness."
  • "I would like to bind users to their network, as well as their local office machine."

What is our primary use case?

We are using this product on a daily basis for creating policies, managing gateways, and managing licenses. Currently, our Check Point Management Server version is R80.40.

Our current use case with R80.40 is Geo policy. We have applied Geo policies to block traffic from some malicious countries such as China, but over the past few weeks, we observed suspicious activity in our logs. There are some IPs showing as Singapore-based addresses, but when we checked in details, they are showing up as IPs from China. Due to that, the traffic is being dropped as per our configuration.

How has it helped my organization?

We have configured multiple gateways in a single dashboard. Currently, we have four gateways that are all clustered on our Security management server. We are easily managing all of the location gateways, so it is very easy for us and helpful to create the same rules, groups, or objects. We have to create only a single object and we add that onto a rule, which is the best way for us to manage.

We are also managing all device (gateway) logs on a single dashboard, which is very helpful for us.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for me is Identity Awareness.

Earlier, we were creating policies with a machine IP-based policy. Whenever a user's machine was changed we had to manually change that machine IP to streamline the user access without their work being interrupted. That was a very hard task for me but now, with this identity awareness blade, we are creating users with their user ID.

If any user changes desk location or something else, we map the user ID-based access. It is a one-time activity and we are very happy with it.

What needs improvement?

Currently we have option to create rule with Access Role, but it is also asking network as well, so my suggestion if we mapped user and machine both then the network should be not compulsory. 

This will reduce our effort to creating rules.

Above is only my suggestion for access role rule type

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Check Point Security Management for the last five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable, although there is some room for improvement.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have to perform each task in a different environment before publishing new features.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did not use another solution prior to this one.

What was our ROI?

If you have Check Point in your perimeter,  the security management server will reduce your incidents by 30%.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did not evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

Overall, this is a very good solution.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PL
Firewall Engineer at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to install, easy to manage, and provides a helpful overview of system health checks

Pros and Cons

  • "Having the possibility to use Smart Event to check for threats on a broader scale helps after a security incident and also makes it easier to check - instead of looking through different logs."
  • "Troubleshooting is quite complicated within multi-domain management. If an issue arises, the local administrator has to keep in mind that there are other domains that could be also affected."

What is our primary use case?

We use Check Point Multi-Domain Management (Provider-1) to manage several customers with their firewalls as well as handle our internal administrators based on their rights.

Each domain (CMA) contains the customer's firewalls that are managed by us. Bigger customers with more than one domain use global objects as well as global rules so that administrators do not have to implement a local object for each domain.

Since this environment is bigger, we also use a dedicated log server for each domain. That way the logs reside in a different virtual log server.

How has it helped my organization?

When using global rules and objects it is possible to push changes to several domains at the same time without touching each individually.

Administration of all users within a single environment makes it easy, instead of connecting to management individually. Using templates for rights helps a lot too.

Last but not least, by only using one VM (or 2 if you include the log server), upgrading and patching are easier. You have a bigger maintenance window, but do not have to upgrade several Security Management Servers by themselves.

What is most valuable?

Using a single GUI with a single management IP makes things easier if you have to administrate several customers. In the Multi-Domain Environment, you are able to see an overview of all the different customers.

Several health checks are shown for the gateways in an overview so you don't always have to use a monitoring system in parallel since you see some states at a glance after logging in.

Having the possibility to use Smart Event to check for threats on a broader scale helps after a security incident and also makes it easier to check - instead of looking through different logs.

What needs improvement?

Troubleshooting is quite complicated within multi-domain management. If an issue arises, the local administrator has to keep in mind that there are other domains that could be also affected.

For each version, you have to download a new GUI. Sometimes the GUIs have fixes in them. If you need a new one, you have to inform and update all administrators too.

Some features still use the legacy GUI, however, as far as I know, it is planned to include this in newer versions (R81+). 

Unfortunately, there is still not a rule checker in place where you can insert SRC/DST/Port and it shows you which rule it matches.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the solution for over 10 years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale, depending on the VM environment.

How was the initial setup?

The installation process is quite easy.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're a Check Point partner as well as a customer
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GeraldChege
ICT Officer at Kenyatta National Hospital
Real User
Top 5
Has good identification capabilities that link with the Active Directory

Pros and Cons

  • "I love the URL filtering as well as the identification capabilities which link with the Active Directory and work for me even with bandwidth regulation. These allow me to select to whom to do what, and when."
  • "In future releases I'd like to see better integration with other applications and solutions. Also, the cost of the license is too high, it's too expensive."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for the firewall and the filtration. The accounts are put on a server and even the SmartConsole is installed on a server environment.

What is most valuable?

In terms of most valuable features, I love the URL filtering as well as the identification capabilities which link with the Active Directory and work for me even with bandwidth regulation. These allow me to select to whom to do what, and when.

What needs improvement?

As for improvement, again, the bandwidth regulation is an issue - it is not up to my expectations. If they could improve that it would be good.

In future releases I'd like to see better integration with other applications and solutions.

Also, the cost of the license is too high, it's too expensive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Check Point Security Management for the last five or six years.

How are customer service and technical support?

I used to contact customer service, but nowadays, I'm authorized to handle that. We have our own internal team in the company to maintain this solution on our own. I know a few people at Check Point so we work together.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, we were using Dell SonicWall.

How was the initial setup?

In terms of initial setup, at the beginning when I was not an expert, it was difficult but now that I'm an expert it is no longer difficult at all.

I don't know how long the setup was the first time since it was done by a client. But nowadays, because I'm an expert, it doesn't take long. It takes about an hour or two and I've done everything.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale of one to ten, I'd give Check Point Security Management a nine because it is not yet available in our country.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
SM
ICT at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Allows for easy filtering, is easy to manage, and has a beautiful interface

Pros and Cons

  • "Check Point Security Management has improved our organization because all corporate firewalls can be managed with a single interface."
  • "The graphical interface is nice but it is a bit heavy."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution to manage and configure all of our firewalls distributed across multiple remote locations. We can do it with a single interface where policies are created, managed, and distributed across all locations.

How has it helped my organization?

Check Point Security Management has improved our organization because all corporate firewalls can be managed with a single interface. Many objects are common in the policies of the various sites, thus saving time when it is necessary to create or modify access policies.

What is most valuable?

Check Point Security Management has a beautiful interface for viewing logs and access reports. You can create many filters and run queries from a modern graphical interface without resorting to shell commands.

What needs improvement?

The graphical interface is nice but it is a bit heavy. Even installing the policies is often a very slow activity. Sometimes it happens that the rules are scattered in several points such as global properties, security policy, and/or application policy and it is difficult to find the point where to intervene

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Check Pont for 15 years.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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